Woman accuses Joe Biden of inappropriate behavior in 2009

Author: ED O'KEEFE/ CBS News
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A second woman has come forward, claiming former Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately at a political event. Former congressional aide Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant that Biden reached for her face and rubbed noses with her during a fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut in 2009.

Lappos later told CBS News in a statement Biden should not run for president, that “objectifying women is not okay” and that “referring to this type of behavior as ‘simply affection’ or ‘grandpa-like’ or ‘friendly’ is ridiculously dismissive and part of the problem.”

On Friday, former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores recalled a 2014 campaign event where Biden approached her from behind, smelled her hair and kissed her head.

“This isn’t new. I’m not bringing up something that people have not been aware of,” Flores said.

She said Biden’s behavior wasn’t sexual, but should be a factor in the Democratic primary. Yet, were he to win the nomination and square off against President Trump, she said “that’s not even a question.”

“Of course I would support Biden,” she said.

In a statement, Biden said over the years, “I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately. We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”

Several women came to Biden’s defense on Monday, including Stephanie Carter, seen with Biden at the swearing-in of her husband, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. She said that moment has been misinterpreted, that he was “helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful.”

At a forum for already-announced candidates in Washington, some said it will be up to Biden to decide whether to run for president and for voters to judge his behavior.

People in the crowd at that event were split. Some hadn’t heard about it. If he runs, Biden isn’t expected to jump in to the race until later this month at the earliest.

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